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(Automatic translation)

The theory of subjective risk homeostasis

Aniceto Zaragoza Ramirez
Director General Spanish Road Association (AEC)

The article begins by conducting a review of the theories explaining accident rates in the different modes of transport (road, rail, aviation, shipping). In the field of road transport, are defined and analyzed the so-called models of irresponsibility, of the rules, scatter, the planned security as well as the current one, which is the model of security satisfied. After differences between the apparent causes and the real of an accident are studied. Today, the concern is more to know "who" that in the "what". This leads to that real and root causes are confused with apparent. Moreover, different statistical systems should be applied to act as "local" level or scale "network". Otherwise, it would explain why the good results against accidents at the local level do not translate into improvements in overall figures.

Finally a new theory revising the theory of risk homeostasis and which can be formulated so exposed, "users rebalance their attitude in terms of what they believe is the risk and not based on the actual risk." So there is a difference between actual and perceived risk. For any action to improve security, users modify their behavior to continue to obtain maximum benefit similar to the old situation, which may lead them to take more risk in the new situation, annulling partially or totally introduced improvement. The key may lie in making roads with lower (safer) theoretical technical risk, without this reduced risk being perceived by the user.

road safety, accident model, theory of homeostasis, traffic accident, driving risk.

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